System and Method for Preparing a Container Loaded with Wet Radioactive Elements for Dry Storage

Primary Inventor: Krishna P. Singh
Contributing Inventor(s):  John D. Griffiths
Date: Mar. 12, 2019
Status: Granted
Jurisdiction: US
Assignee: Holtec International, Inc.
Equipment Type: FHD
Docket Number: HOL-002
Application Number: 14/886,844
Patent Number: US 10,229,764 B2

Prior Publication Data: US/2016/0118152 A1 (Apr. 28, 2016)

Related US Application Data:

  • Continuation of application No. 14/060,384, filed on Oct. 22, 2013, now Patent No. US 9,165,690 B2, which is a division of Application No. 12/342,002, filed on December 22, 2008, and now Patent No. US 8,561,318.
  • Provisional application No. 61/016,151, filed on Dec. 21, 2007.

Also Published as: UA 99941

Foreign Patent Documents: 2227655

Abstract: A system and method for preparing a container holding high level radioactive waste for dry storage. In one aspect, the invention is a method of preparing a canister having a cavity loaded with wet radioactive elements for dry storage, the method comprising: (a) providing a gas circulation system comprising a condensing module, a desiccant module, a gas circulator module; (b) connecting the gas circulation system to the canister so as to form a hermetically sealed closed-loop path that includes the cavity; (c) filling the hermetically sealed closed-loop path with a non-reactive gas; (d) circulating the non-reactive gas through the hermetically sealed closed-loop path until the condensing module is no longer removing substantial amounts of water from the circulating non-reactive gas, wherein the desiccant module is sealed off from the hermetically sealed closed-loop path during step (d); and (e) adding the desiccant module to the hermetically sealed closed-loop path and continuing to circulate the non-reactive gas through the hermetically sealed closed-loop path, the desiccant module dehumidifying the circulating the non-reactive gas. In another aspect, a system and method is disclosed wherein the second phase of drying is performed by a vacuum module rather than the desiccant module to achieve the desired dryness level, the vacuum module being switched into the closed loop after the first phase of drying is completed.